Sheffield Wednesday have sacked manager Gary Megson, despite the club lying third in npower League One.
Megson guided the Owls to a vitally important win over Sheffield United on Sunday, which left them two points behind their second-placed city rivals, but the 52-year-old has paid the price for four successive defeats prior to that game.
The former West Brom and Bolton manager, who was a boyhood Wednesday fan, replaced Alan Irvine in the Hillsborough hotseat in February 2011 with the club in the depths of League One and averted any danger of relegation last term.
He was tasked with delivering promotion this season and with Charlton and the Blades favourites to take the two automatic promotion places, chairman Milan Mandaric has opted to remove Megson from his post.
Mandaric said in a club statement: "This was a very difficult decision but one that has been taken with the best interests of Sheffield Wednesday at heart.
"We have 13 games to go of what is a critical season for our club and this decision has been taken because I believe we have a better chance of achieving our key aim of promotion by making the change.
"I fully understand this may not be the most popular decision among our supporters but I ask them to trust me, as they have done so wholeheartedly during the time I have been at the club.
"Whilst we won what was a huge game last Sunday, I have looked at results before that to reach the conclusion which I believe is the right one for now and the future of Sheffield Wednesday.
"I take no decision lightly regarding this club and this one is no different.
"One chapter is closed and another one begins. We must now look forward and I hope to appoint a new manager as soon as possible to help achieve success for this club."